It should come as no surprise that having a successful 20-year practice as a leading executive search firm for tech startups would include completing searches from coast to coast across North America.
While Canada has plenty of cities considered tech hubs (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal), Canada pales in comparison to its southern neighbor, The United States of America.
Our firm began representing US-based clients in the early 2000s. Back when the dot com bubble had not yet burst. Over the years (and market ups and downs), we’ve remained committed to our American clients.
Why do we love working with Americans?
Because it’s a country where hard work and reinvention are highly valued. Pre-pandemic, we were continually amazed how many Americans were open to, and many had already, relocated between states for an opportunity. Something few Canadians ever seriously consider. We were also delighted to discover how many military veterans and retired athletes found careers in software sales, often with much success.
While we love recruiting all over America, if we had to narrow it down to a favorite city in the US, it’s one that:
- is close enough to Canada that one might wonder if a cartographer got the borderlines wrong,
- feels a multi-season climate,
- is less than a days drive from Toronto, and
- has a strong hockey fandom.
You guessed it, Boston. Boston embodies the land of opportunity fueled by the magical trifecta of VC money, world-renowned education, and depth of tech talent.
Here are seven reasons why we love to recruit in Boston:
Youth + Brains
One-third of Boston’s population is college students. There are more than 100 colleges and universities in Boston, over 250 in New England: some ranking among the best in the world (Harvard and MIT). Boston’s higher education has been a catalyst to the rise in tech.
Boston has become well-known for these two disruptive product categories, largely due to the number of world-class hospitals and research centers. In fact, 13 of Boston’s 50 largest employers are hospitals.
From small startups to billion-dollar pharma companies, Boston and Cambridge have more than 1,000 biotechnology companies and are ranked as the number one biotech hub in the world.
Boston is also a global hub for robotics. Massachusetts is home to 345 robotics companies, startups, and world-class robotics labs. In 2019, there was over $1B invested and over 4,700 professionals working in the field, making Boston a booming market for talented candidates in the field of robotics.
In addition to hundreds of tech startups, Boston has some heavyweight tech companies that call this city home (Hubspot, Wayfair, LogMeIn, Akamai, TripAdvisor, iRobot) and bring an influx of talent into the market. Including leadership talent who may be swayed to join a burgeoning tech startup if given the opportunity and equity.
Over the last four decades, Boston has become a much more diverse place and is considered a “majority-minority” city: ranking as the 6th most diverse city in the US. This diversity is an amazing benefit for companies looking for culture-add, not just homogeneous cultural-fit candidates.
In the last decade, as the population of Boston grew, it not only became more diverse but also younger and better educated. Boston has the highest proportion (35%) of 20 to 34 year-olds among the 25 largest cities in the country. Meaning, these talented graduates are sticking around and continuing to grow their experience and expertise in the local market.
Boston also has an amazing location for those with headquarters in the North-East. Domestic and cross-border travel to NYC and Toronto is only an hour by flight or less than 4 hours by train to NYC.
Workers located in Boston also have the added benefits of working in the same EST timezone as other major metropolitan cities, like New York and Toronto, and have a similar timezone to Chicagos CST (one hour difference).
Finally, we couldn’t talk about Boston without mentioning the explosion of VC firms in the area. Massachusetts is now the third-largest VC market in the US and even has its own venture community.
All of this makes Boston one very startup-friendly city. Boston candidates generally have an appetite for risk and an opportunistic outlook on the startup job market. This means there is a high likelihood of landing candidates with experience working for Founder led businesses and the unspoken things that means. It also means candidates are frequently familiar with early-stage and VC fund-backed companies that lean into equity-based comp plans.